A first half half hat-trick by Joe Burgess set up a 34-10 victory for the Bears over Wyong Roos at Morrie Breen Oval on Sunday.
Both teams had eight wins-a-piece heading into this round and a victory was important for their semi final aspirations.
It was Wyong who would take the early lead with a successful Tyler Cornish penalty kick. That goal would be the only joy Roos fans would have as the Bears stuck their claws in.
Abbas Miski almost got over the line for the Bears, but on the next play winger Joe Burgess scored in the left corner to open the account for the Bears.
Norths went on the attack again and looked like scoring until Omar Slaimankhel intercepted and ran 80 metres until Eli Levido ran him down in a tackle that would have made Scott Sattler proud.
There were some physical collisions throughout the first half, with Joseph Manu coming off second best making a tackle, but the young centre recovered to pick up a loose ball and earn his side a penalty. The game was held up again for a few minutes whilst Jack Siejka got some running repairs, sporting a nice bandage across his face.
Dane Nielsen showed his class drawing his man, before backing up on the inside to score a good Bears try. Levido added the extras for the Bears to lead 10-2 after 27 minutes.
North Sydney were well on top making strong metres up the middle, which allowed the backs plenty of room on the edges. A nicely weighted cross kick from Levido was marked by Burgess in the corner for the Englishman’s second of the day.
Wyong came back and attacked the Bears’ try line but again they came up empty handed. The Bears got themselves out of trouble and Burgess made his old team mates pay, charging through the line to dash 60 metres for his hat trick. Levido added the extras and it was 20 points to 2 at half time.
Wyong were literally running up hill the second half, three converted tries behind the Bears and Morrie Breen Oval, which slopes from north to south, made the job hard. The Roos had the majority of the ball early in the second half, but could not convert into points. It was a different story for Norths though, scoring their fifth try thanks to Latrell Robinson backing up Sitveni Moceidreke to score right in front. Levido converted the try and the Bears led 26-2 after 55 minutes.
Frustration was creeping into the Roos’ game. Falling off tackles and poor discipline was inviting the Bears to build up their tally. Bears skipper Brad Deitz darted over from dummy half and Levido converted to make it 32-2. For and Against was becoming an issue for the Roos and they needed to stop the flow of points or score some. Mitchell Frei did that by scoring the Roos first try of the day.
Tensions boiled over ten minutes out from full time with both teams getting up close and personal with a bit of push and shove. Referee Mr. Cassidy was in the thick of it and gave Wyong’s Dom Reardon and Bears Brad Deitz a 10-minute rest in the sin bin.
Things were still heated out in the middle and moments later the Bears were reduced to 11 men when Jack Siejka was sent to the bin.
As the game went into the final minutes, Levido added an extra two points to make it 34-6, then Jai Ingram scored for the Roos near full time to finish up proceedings at 34-10.
It was a strong effort by all wearing the red, black and white of North Sydney and that win will no doubt give them confidence heading into the final rounds.
North Sydney Bears 34 (Joe Burgess 3, Dane Nielsen, Brad Deitz, Latrell Robinson tries; Eli Levido 5 goals)
Wyong Roos 10
This article first appeared on nswrl.com.au.